Monarch is celebrating its 70th anniversary this season and we arrived on a sunny morning after several days of fresh snowfall. While this was my third visit to Monarch, I had never actually skied the lift served terrain but had only skied the backcountry terrain accessed by Monarch Snowcat Tours. So with the kids in tow we set off to explore the all natural snow on the lift served runs that have been enjoyed by many skiers and riders for more than 70 years.
Our first lift ride up we settled into the chair, put the bar down and started to enjoy the view and the ride. At tower five I was taking my phone out of my pocket to snap a photo of the beautiful scenery and before I had a chance to blink, my American Express slipped out of my pocket and all I could do was watch it fall like an autumn leaf floating down through the air and silently land on the snow far below us.
Thankfully Monarch is well staffed with an army of young, handsome, rugged ski patrollers able to swoop down and scoop up dropped credit cards in the blink of an eye.
I didnt know this about Monarch until my visit but from the top, on a clear day, you can see Pikes Peak, Snowmass and the Maroon Bells. You can also get a full 360 degree view of the Continental Divide, of which Monarch is one of the crowing peaks.
The other thing I was pleased to learn about Monarch is that there is a green run that goes from the summit to the base so beginners can get the full mountain experience – top to bottom.
I know the highlight of the visit for the kids was chasing Mr. Skittles down Pinball a fun little run through the trees and over the bumps. With his bright blue helmet and bright blue jacket they followed him around like he was the Pied Piper.
Monarch is a Gem of a resort and at the end of the day we left with a good feeling, like we had just tasted a rainbow.